Bronx charter school going beyond to protect students, staff amid pandemic

Coronavirus

SOUNDVIEW, the Bronx — The city’s recent implementation of a vaccine mandate for teachers finally pushed high school economics and government teacher Zinnia Torres to get the shot.

Torres, who returned to her classroom for this school year after 18 months of remote learning, told PIX11 she held out initially because she was confused by misinformation.

“It really wasn’t a big deal” getting the shot, Torres said, adding that her husband and kids will be next to roll up their sleeves.

Torres isn’t alone — now, 100% of the teachers and staff at Comp Sci High School in the Bronx are vaccinated.

“It means that they can all continue to come to work,” principal David Noah said.

Noah is taking safety precautions at the charter school beyond what’s recommended by city guidelines. All 71 staff members at the school are tested weekly, despite their vaccination statuses. Twenty percent of the student population is also tested weekly.

Noah credits this approach to the school’s lack of classroom closures. Now, the school’s goal is to get the remainder of its 433 students vaccinated.

Right now, a little less than half of the student population hasn’t received a shot. Noah said success will come from “finding a way to gently and with love push them” toward something that benefits the whole community.

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